Chris Rock's Divorce: Is It Getting Ugly?

Chris Rock's Divorce Could be Headed Towards an Ugly Custody Battle
Chris and Malaak Compton-Rock
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

12/30/2014 AT 06:25 PM EST

The divorce between Chris Rock and his wife of over 18 years, Malaak Compton-Rock, has the potential to get messy.

In his divorce filing with the Superior Court of New Jersey, the Top Five director and star, 49, claims that Compton-Rock, 45, has kept his daughters – Lola, 12, and Zahra, 10 – away from him.

According to the divorce papers obtained by PEOPLE, Rock maintains that "[Compton-Rock] has repeatedly refused to permit [him] normal and usual access to the children, and has acted in a manner detrimental to the children's best interests."

Compton-Rock released a statement to PEOPLE through her lawyer contesting these claims.



"Malaak is saddened and disappointed that Chris has accused her of keeping their children from him, which he knows is untrue and can be so easily disproved," her attorney David Aronson said in the statement. "We all know Chris leads a very busy public life while Malaak and their children definitely do not. She hopes the privacy of their children is still as important to Chris as it is to her and that it will be respected. They will always be the main focus of her life."

Rock has asked for joint and equal physical and legal custody of his daughters, stating that he "is now and always has been a fully involved and participating parent in all aspects of the lives of these children."

Although Compton-Rock has yet to file a response to Rock's divorce papers, a source close to the couple does not believe she will ask for sole custody.

"There is absolutely no truth – none at all – to the reports that she's asking for full custody," says the source.

Despite the potential for controversy, the source believes that the divorce will go smoothly, saying, "we don't expect it to be contentious."

The papers filed by Rock cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorce. They also state that the couple had a premarital agreement put in place when they married in 1996, but that it has since expired due to a sunset provision. Rock has requested equitable distribution of property. Compton-Rock "has the ability to work and contribute to her own support, as well as the support and other financial needs of the children," he adds in the papers.

The comedian filed for divorce on Dec. 23 after years of marital ups and downs.
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